What are folk sources?

Oral histories and ethnographic materials help present complicated issues and topics by comparing and contrasting life experiences, voices and vantage points. Although they do often reflect historical truth, primary sources are valued as powerful reference points for understanding individual and community perspectives on memory, meaning and identity. Over the past 150 years folklorists and other ethnographic researchers in the U.S. have created a unique, enormous corpus of ethnographic field collections: multi-format, unpublished groups of materials documenting human life and traditions, from historic photographs of the Tulsa Race Massacre to contemporary civil rights recordings, graffiti art documented by Martha Cooper to Amplifier social justice posters, and more.

Find a classroom activity using this image at https://jfepublications.org/article/a-note-documentation-as-remembrance/

This activity uses a primary set source from the Library of Congress to model how documentation of the Covid-19 pandemic can amplify students’ voices.

La Teacher 1 print; color ink jet; sheets 61 x 46 cm.(poster format) | Poster shows the smiling face of a teacher on a laptop computer screen. Behind her is a red globe of the world. Contributor: Ponce, Alfredo – Amplifier Date: 2020. https://lccn.loc.gov/2020632240